Ní hǎo! From vocabulary to tricky pronunciation, learning Chinese is a time-consuming and sometimes frustrating process. Luckily for Chinese learners, however, learning this beautiful language doesn't need to be difficult.
Let's take a look at the easiest way to learn Chinese and how it can help you to learn Chinese easier.
Basically, there are five ways to learn Chinese, and each of these ways involves a different approach to language learning. These approaches include learning through complete Chinese immersion, learning through translation, grammar-based learning, communication-based learning, and vocabulary-based learning. In our online Chinese course Rocket Chinese, we make use of those approaches to guarantee a fun and successful learning experience.
Resources for further reading:
Every method has its own advantages and disadvantages. While it's important to note that what is easy for one learner is not always easy for another, there is one method that is often cited as the easiest way to learn Chinese. Can you guess it?
That's right: It's the vocabulary-based approach.
The vocabulary-based approach focuses on learning vocabulary through repetition by associating images with the words or phrases they represent. Traditional grammar rules are not taught, but are naturally learned by students as they progress.
First of all, the vocabulary-based approach is a great way to help students memorize new words and phrases fast. Chinese learners can improve their vocabulary very quickly with this method because of the interactive use of repetition and images. It's great for visual learners and can even be used with audio for auditory learners. It is, by far, the easiest way to learn vocabulary quickly and without hassle.
Students can also save time and money by using this method instead of a traditional classroom. Learning Chinese can be as easy as turning their computer or phone. That way, they can learn Chinese anytime and anywhere, a major benefit considering how important it is to practice a language as much as possible in order to learn it.
Finally, the vocabulary-based method is easy because it allows students to progress at their own rate. This is especially beneficial for students who might need a little extra repetition or students who are experienced language learners and may become bored in a traditional classroom setting. It's an easily accessible (and cost effective) method that allows students to adapt their language learning to their own needs and schedules.
There are, however, a few disadvantages to this method. The vocabulary-based approach may be the easiest way to learn Chinese, but it isn't always the most effective. Often, the vocabulary that is taught in this method isn't very practical. After all, who wants to learn how to say “my tailor is rich” or "the book is under the table" first in Chinese? If we hardly ever say that in our native language, why should those be our first words in Chinese? Unfortunately, a lot of language learning software doesn't take into account the practicality of the vocabulary students are learning.
In addition, students studying Chinese with a vocabulary-based approach may lack Chinese grammar skills. Since grammar is not directly taught with this method, students risk sounding a bit like Tarzan when they try to speak ("Me Tarzan, you Jane...").
It's important to take these disadvantages into account when learning Chinese using the vocabulary-based method. While this method may be the easiest way to learn Chinese, it may not necessarily be the best way to learn Chinese or the fastest way to learn Chinese. Supplementing this approach with other methods can help make your Chinese studies even more effective.
Consider incorporating aspects from other language learning methods into your vocabulary-based approach. This may include:
Most importantly, always try to make your Chinese studies as varied and interactive as possible using some of these helpful Chinese learning hacks. Rocket Chinese helps you incorporating listening, reading, writing, speaking and cultural activities into your studies as much as possible. You'll be on your way to fluent Chinese in no time.
Learning Chinese doesn't need to be difficult. With the proper approach, dedication, and motivation, learning Chinese can be both easy and fun. 去吧 Qù ba! Get going!
一会儿见! Yīhuǐ'er jiàn!
The Rocket Chinese Team